What does macrobiotic mean?
In Greek, makro means great or long and bios means life. The Macrobiotic principles, which have been around for thousands of years, are today considered to be a holistic and natural approach to health and longevity.
According to Christy N. Carl, RN, MS, of Christopher Center for Healing, macrobiotics focuses on “bringing balance to a person’s physical and emotional condition by utilizing foods that are balanced energetically and nutritionally.”
What foods are in a macrobiotic diet?
A macrobiotic diet is a high fiber, low fat diet with limited meat and plenty of vegetables (30%), legumes and beans (10%), soups like Miso (10%) and grains (50%). The macrobiotic diet also includes food considered to be healing foods such as sea vegetables, daikon, pickles and ginger root. Fish, nuts, seeds and fruits are included in smaller quantities for diversity. A macrobiotic diet also takes into account what foods are local and in season so a macrobiotic may vary from region to region or season to season.
Vegetables in the Macrobiotic Diet:
In a macrobiotic diet foods are cooked with no or limited amounts of raw vegetables.
Richard Sheah of Natural Cures from Colds to Cancer, explains that the macrobiotic diet focuses on three types of vegetables; roots, round and greens.
Root vegetables include those vegetables that grow straight down such as carrots, parsnips and daikon (white radishes).
Round vegetables grow just below or above ground like onions, beets, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and pumpkin.
Green vegetables are those that grow up and out like spinach, bok choy, leek, spring onions and celery.
Nightshade vegetables, such as peppers, eggplants, okra and tomatoes, are generally avoided or eaten in very limited quantities in a macrobiotic diet
How are vegetables cooked in a macrobiotic diet?
Vegetables can be cooked in a variety of ways including steaming, blanching, steam sautéing, baking, stir-frying or even cooked in soups.
What foods are not included in a macrobiotic diet?
A macrobiotic diet excludes refined sugars, flour, red meat, coffee and all dairy products.
Typically, people trained in macrobiotic cooking:
-never use a microwave to prepare foods
-look for whole, natural and unrefined foods
-use only quality sea salts in cooking
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow said in an interview with V Magazine in 2008 that the macrobiotic diet “is basically about eating local, organic, seasonal food that isn’t processed.”
Macrobiotic Cooking Recipes & Videos Online
You can find dozens of free macrobiotic cooking recipes for each season at MicrobioticMeals.com like Polenta with fresh corn, Herbed Black Soy Beans, Carrots and Broccoli with Ume Dill Dressing and Berry Kanten for dessert.
Eden Organic Foods also has an exhaustive list of macrobiotic cooking recipes. The recipes like Auduki Bean soup or Apple Cherry Fruit Kanten are all alphabetized and have prep times, cook times and nutrition information as well.
If you like to learn from videos, eHow.com has several videos for basic macrobiotic recipes like Lemon Miso Dressing and Sea Vegetable Salad.